I proceed with honouring the 120+ black lives lost during the BLM movement, amid this global pandemic. Repeating this, 11 times for the 11 times George Floyd told his killers about his inadequate inhalation of oxygen.
Oxygen is a basic human necessity; and no human (regardless of race, ethnicity or criminal record) should be denied of it. This was revoked from a human because his skin happened to be a colour other than ‘white’.
It started with the Trans-Atlantic slave trade which was continuous until 1808 in America. Slavery in America came to an ultimate end on the 19th June 1865; today Black Americans celebrate this as Juneteenth to commemorate the progression of our freedom despite the years of unaccountable oppression. This was the time for all the people of America to live in a just way, however, majority of the white population were not convinced about the black worth and potential contribution to society, so even though we were legally free from the turmoil of slavery we were still held accountable to the biased prejudice held by the white population.
During the 1800s my home (Nigeria) was invaded by the British and thereafter, became a British protectorate. Nigeria only obtained her independence in 1960; that happened just over 60 years ago. To believe that the white colonists used to cage our children and treat them like animals in pursuit of entertainment, baffles me. The young European children who lived in these African countries during this period of time are grandparents, their actions would last an impression on their children and grandchildren: ultimately leaving the instinctive habit of the forms of racism we are now aware of. What do you think they have taught their children and grandchildren about the black population and how this population deserves to be treated?
Yes, racism is horrible towards any of the minorities, but the biggest misconception is that racism occurs instantaneously because, it does not. Racism is hereditary. By this, I am saying white babies are not born hating black babies because of their skin colour, instead, white babies (depending on their families’ background) grow up with ignorance to the issue of racism. It is the teachings of the ultra-superiority the white population automatically has over all minority groups- including the black population.
In all truth, this movement has been an ongoing occurrence for over some time now; the only difference today, is systematic racism around the world is being recorded and shared throughout social media. George Floyd’s death and the deaths of many other African American citizens have led to the breaking point of the black community all over the world. Some believe that the black community are tackling two pandemics at the moment: racism and COVID 19.
The various forms of oppression experienced by our community negatively affects all of us mentally. Especially the next generation, as it implants a permanent image of black people constantly being murdered or mistreated for the wrong reasons; with majority of white population being ignorant to the privilege they possess. At any given point, we start to ponder about our relationship with death as we live on the verge of it every day and will eventually reach this cyclical aspect of life. It is something all black women, men and children learn to accept at a young age; living in a society that constantly justifies the normalcy of these acts of injustice and the representation of living in a world which uplifts solely the white community and all their accomplishments; ultimately blindsiding the achievements of all the minority communities: including the black community.
Generally, black children are brought up with the notion of always having to prove themselves in a society that puts them at consistent disadvantages.
An exemplary metaphor that showcases ‘white privilege’ can be a river race: the white population is swimming with the current (this does not mean they will not experience any form of struggle as the current may decrease or increase); however, they are still swimming with the current.
For the black population, we are rendered to swim against the current which increasing the chances of failure significantly. Upon this, there are many other issues that may come with life.
Furthermore, this movement has been set in place to educate the uneducated about the fallacious ‘norm’ we have around the world and is a ‘wake-up’ call for the ‘white coloured’ to make a mandatory change as their skin colour possesses an unimaginable amount of power. Without a certain extent of pain, progress and ultimate justice for the black community may not be effectively reached but our community has endured pain for the past 400+ years.
It is time for collective change.